Swimming, Sitting Up Helps Young Children Learn

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From Your Health Journal…..”For my regular readers, you know I always say visit the Education Week web site, as they have some of the best articles on the net. Today’s article being reviewed discusses how babies who sit up and per-schoolers who swim have a distinct advantage developmentally over their counterparts who do not. This blog has discussed many times how physical activity enhances cognitive skills as well as physical skills, so a study like this does not surprise many of us. There are many reasons why a child should exercise! We know it helps fight sickness, fights disease, reduces the risk of heart disease or diabetes, improves self esteem, and helps us carry out daily tasks with greater ease. So, when you read an article like this, it just adds to the list of why exercise is important not only for children, but adults. Please visit the Education Week web site (listed below) to view the full article.”

From the article…..

Babies who can sit up (either on their own or with assistance) and preschoolers who participate in swimming have developmental advantages over those who can’t, according to two separate studies.

My colleague Julie Rasicot recently covered both studies in detail over on our Early Years blog, but I’ll give you a quick rundown here.

In one study, researchers at North Dakota State and Texas A&M universities found that babies who can sit up on their own have an advantage over those who can’t, as they’re free to use their hands to explore objects around them. The study found that 6½-month-old babies, when given the chance to play with objects beforehand, can be “primed to attend pattern differences” between the objects.

Even babies as young as 5½ months can use pattern differences to distinguish between objects when they’re given “full postural support,” according to the study. The 5½-month-old babies struggled to support themselves sitting up on their own, however.

“If babies don’t have to focus on balancing, their attention can be on exploring the object,” said study co-author Rebecca Woods, an assistant professor of human development and family science at North Dakota State University, in a statement.

Meanwhile, researchers from Australia’s Griffith University found that preschool-aged children (younger than 5) who participate in swimming reach a range of developmental milestones quicker than children who stay away from the water.

To read the full article…..Click here